DePree, Max O.

DePree, Max O. (Owen)

(1924–  ) furniture manufacturing company executive; born in Zeeland, Mich. Dropping out of college to join the Army Medical Corps in 1943, he went to work afterward (1947) at his father's Michigan company, Herman Miller (named after his mother's father), which produced furniture by renowned designers like Charles Eames. Taking over as chief executive officer (1980–87), then chairman, he increased sales dramatically through his distinctively worker-friendly management style. His book, Leadership is An Art (1989), has been reprinted in ten languages.